London | WTA Roundup – Top seeds advance but Watson falls

Hua Hin | WTA 250 Thailand Open presented by E@

Top seed Bianca Andreescu made it into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open with a convincing win over Marta Kostyuk but Heather Watson missed out on a place in the Last 4 as she bowed out to Wang Xinyu in three sets.

I think I played really well, especially in the first set. She is always a tough opponent so I wasn’t expecting anything easy. Bianca Andreescu

The British 30-year-old No 6 went down 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 in a closely-fought quarter-final lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes and, despite the defeat, she will return to the world’s Top 150.

Wang gained the upper hand in the first set, which was briefly halted when a ball kid collapsed, despite squandering two chances to break in the 5th game before finally clinching it.

There were a whopping 8 breaks in the second between them, as Watson first established a 3-0 lead with a double break, and Wang reciprocated until 5-5 when both calmed things down with a pair of love holds before the Brit came good in the tiebreak, taking it on her second set point to force matters into a decider.

The World No 160 continued to hold her own on serve, with no breaks to be had in the first 6 games of the the third set, but Wang finally ended Watson’s resilient streak for a 4-3 lead, before holding to move one game away from a place in the semis.

The Chinese 21-year-old was pegged back to 30-30 on serve in the 10th game before netting on her first match point, but she made no mistake on her second to advance to the final four.

“It was really tough, I’m just really happy that I kept fighting until the end, I think we both played our best tennis today,” Xinyu said on the court. “I’m really happy that I got this far.”

Heather Watson fell in 3 tight sets to 21-year old Wang Xinyu in the quarter-finals at Hua Hin

@WTA Thailand Open/Instagram

So is Andreescu, who powered into her first semi-final since last June with a 6-0 7-6(3) victory over 5th-seeded Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine in an hour and 28 minutes.

“I don’t think I played bad in the second set,” the Canadian said. “She just raised her level.”

Despite being junior peers, this was the first time the two had played at any level, and Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, dominated for a set and a half, taking on the ball at every opportunity and racing to a 6-0, 5-1 lead before Kostyuk fought back to win the next 5 games in a row.

The Ukrainian saved triple match point serving at 3-5, and Andreescu ultimately needed a tiebreak to get over the line.

“I think I played really well, especially in the first set,” said Andreescu. “She is always a tough opponent so I wasn’t expecting anything easy.”

The No 1 seed hit 19 winners and won 69% of her first serve points in a match where she had an amazing start, but was dealt some adversity in the second set.

After the match in her on-court interview, she was asked about her chances in her next match.

“I am hoping to win the tournament, and I really believe in myself and, if I get the support I need, hopefully, I can win the next two matches,” Andreescu responded.

The Canadian will face another Ukrainian in the semi-finals Lesia Tsurenko who had no issues getting past the German Tatjana Maria in straight sets 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the other quarter-final match, Zhu Lin of China beat the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, 6-2 6-2, in one hour and 15 minutes to set up an all-Chinese semi-final with Wang.

Caroline Garcia's hopes of winning her hometown tournament in Lyon remained on track with her win over Jasmine Paolini in the quarter-final on Friday

@Immobilier Métropole de Lyon/Instagram

Lyon | WTA 250 Open 6éme Sens Métropole de Lyon

No 1 seed Caroline Garcia fended off Italy’s Jasmine Paolini, 7-5 7-5, to reach the semi-finals in her hometown of Lyon in France.

At the Palais des Sports de Gerland in Lyon on Friday, Garcia fired 9 aces and converted 3 of 7 break points en route to the narrow win in one hour and 46 minutes.

She will face Camila Osorio in the next round after the Colombian beat Czech teenager Linda Noskova, 6-4 7-6(3).

American Alycia Parks also continued her stellar week by taking out the No 7 seed, Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 7-5 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

Next for Parks is Belgium’s Maryna Zanevska, who rallied to beat 5th seed Anastasia Potapova of Russia, 3-6 6-1 6-2.



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